Engaging With Communities: Community Health Needs Assessment


LifeBridge Health leads regular Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) so our hospitals can more clearly understand and create targeted plans that address high-priority community health needs. This process—a federal requirement and a strategic priority for LifeBridge Health in FY2024—enables gathering of information that helps our facilities to develop focused community initiatives that can address underlying causes of potentially avoidable hospitalizations and emergency department usage. LifeBridge Health engages members of our hospitals’ service areas to understand their health knowledge, conditions, behaviors and general needs, including those related to chronic disease prevention and management and their ability to access health care services.

“The CHNA process helps us take the pulse of our service area populations,” says David Baker, LifeBridge Health’s executive director of population and community health. Through individual surveys, interviews with key community stakeholders, focus groups and data analysis, information is collected for each hospital service area and helps to identify unmet needs and barriers to health. Such barriers can include gaps in access to primary care, poverty, lack of access to reliable transportation or healthy food and health literacy, among other things. Addressing these barriers either before hospitalization or after discharge can help patients better adhere to their treatment plan and minimize complications or exacerbations, reduce preventable hospital admissions and readmissions, build trust among members of our communities and contribute to a more cost-effective approach to health care.

Assessing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) in our communities, such as poverty, unequal access to health care, lack of education, stigma and racism is a key component of the CHNA. SDOHs are underlying, contributing factors of health inequities. At LifeBridge Health, achieving health equity is a priority.

“Our mission here at LifeBridge Health is to serve our community,” says Sharon McClernan, vice president for community health and integration. “CHNA defines what our community needs.” From the information collected, a Community Benefit Implementation Plan is developed that addresses prioritized needs with concrete actions.

To learn more about LifeBridge Health’s CHNA, visit: our page. And if you live in the service area of any of our hospitals, keep your eye out for information about our confidential CHNA survey. Your input is critical to improving care in our communities!